Ford and Volga

Russian car volga looks like Ford 1

Russian car Volga 21 was very popular among Communist elite of the Soviet Union. It was a real hit and many contemporary designers admit that it was good for its time. In many modern design books, Russian and foreign onee can meet it as an example of car design of that era.

But if to look bit closer there are a lot of details that remind foreign cars that were popular back then. Ford and Mercury have most similarities with Volga 21.

Russian car volga looks like Ford 1

Volga 21

Russian car volga looks like Ford 2

1953 Ford Crestline

Russian car volga looks like Ford 3

Volga 21

Russian car volga looks like Ford 4

1953 Ford Crestline

Russian car volga looks like Ford 5

Volga 21

Russian car volga looks like Ford 6

Russian car volga looks like Ford 7

Volga 21

Russian car volga looks like Ford 8

1953 Ford Crestline

Russian car volga looks like Ford 9

Volga 21

Russian car volga looks like Ford 10

1952 Mercury Monterey

Russian car volga looks like Ford 11

Volga 21

Russian car volga looks like Ford 12

1953 Ford Crestline

Russian car volga looks like Ford 13

Volga 21

Russian car volga looks like Ford 14

1952 Mercury Monterey

Russian car volga looks like Ford 15

Volga 21

Russian car volga looks like Ford 16

1953 Ford Crestline

Russian car volga looks like Ford 17

Volga 21

Russian car volga looks like Ford 18

1952 Mercury Monterey

82 thoughts on “Ford and Volga”

      • Yea, particulary US and Soviet manufactures did share the parts production to decrease common costs. In atom bomb production there was similiar cooperation to decrease costs.

        • Please don`t mix two different things together! ! ! ! Soviets always just retaliate and answered Americans! ! ! ! !.if you look back events of the cold war,you may notice the Soviet union`s passion and tolerance over the American atomic bomb making,occupation of western Europe in the name of “free”world.vietnam war,Korean war…………i can`t complete all of American crimes against humanity,because of their endless passion to destruction of our world……….

          • Amplify the idea about US agression on Korea. As leftist proponent you are probably sure that there should not be a South rich Korea but whole Korean state should be as ‘rich’ as North Korea and whole Korean state should have such ‘modern’ concentration camps as North Korea has.
            As leftist proponent you would be probably vary sad if there were a South rich Vietnam. It’s very well that communists menaged to take control over whole Vietnam, isn’t it ? I read in your mind, don’t I ?

            • Darek,
              Can you please explain me one thing – why do many young people from Poland (esp. from poor suburbs and country side) don`t like russians, Russia etc.

              I`m representative of 4th generation of polish family living in Moscow. I never had any troubles with my russian compatriots. It is hundreds of different nations live in Russia, and we all call ourselfs “russkie”. Novadays, after Perestroika and all the things related, some provocatours trying to divide us into greatrussians, malorussians, belorussians,.. caucasians, tatars… orthodox, catolics, muslims… jews… and so on.

              In 20th century western propaganda draw a picture of russian as an everdrunk barbarian with nuclear bomb. They show such picture to the people of western world and explain “we raise the taxes to defend you from that monster. All you have to do is obey your boss and don`t make revolutions.” + hypnotic visions of so called “american dream” created in Holliwood. Those things, unfortunatelly, divided humanity.

              Now they want to divide us even further: if you look at recent situation in Kosovo – american genral send Polish and Ukranian troops to deal with Serbs. In other words white anglo saxon protestant sent slavs to kill slavs!

              If you ever read V.Lenin you might notice one sentence: ” The unique really existing contradiction – is contradiction of social classes (poor/rich). All other, religious or national, are created artificially with the purpose to distract proletarians from real problems.”

              Ask your self “to whom it is favourable to make us enemies?to whom it is favourable to divide us? make us weak and take us one by one?”

              Did Poland become stronger/richer/prosperous without Russia?

              Please, think about that.

              With great respect and will for better united world.

              Zdanek from Moscow.)

              • Guys liek Darek are to fast writers but about your question: Did Poland become stronger/richer/prosperous without Russia?
                It is not about being rich it is about being free and able to decide by yourself. If we do mistakes now, they are ours. Let it be.

                • Dear smb,

                  Are you shure that now you decide by yourself and mistakes you do now is yours? Do you really belive that somebody in modern society might be truelly free? As I understand, mass media washes brains worldwide – each day they telling you what to buy, how to live, explains you what is right and what is wrong…
                  About recent chages in eastern europe – for me it seems like “music is the same, only beat changed a little” – soviet military bases became american… same old mind control, only done much more cleaver…
                  But if such “novus ordo” makes you happy, then, indeed, let it be. After all happiness is what we living for, isn`t it?)

                  • Of course I do not. Same as you do not believe Russia is great and fantastic and only beautiful.

                    But now I can study abroad without any visit to any office and asking for any permission. I can learn a language in school which my parents have chosen for me ( out of max 7 official, depends where) when my parents couldn’t go to any non communistic country or had a choice between Russian and Russian.

                    Is it richer….probably not
                    is it more powerful…….surely not
                    is it truly free…….not really
                    but it is finally Poland, and I take it with all good and bad things

                    if you are tolerant as you say I guess you do not have anything against a nation which wish to rule itself

                    and people like Darek should be forgiven as theirs brains are to washed to soak anything any more but they are everywhere, unluckily internet seem to suck them all

                    happiness is not a goal, it is a choice

                    • I agree with you: an ability to move in any directions abroad is great. Shure – iron curtain was a bad, bad thing. And I`m happy to have an ability to spent my vacations with my wife and kidz in some nice countries with warm climate, blue sea and cheap fruits)))

                      BTW such voyages gave me a chance to understand, that we are living in a very small world. There are more similarities between us then differences. A real “Global Village”.

                      So, IMHO, it is a mistake to think at the beggining of third millenium there are still some “nation which rule itself” (maybe somewhere in Pacicfic ocean there is an island or two with such “nations” living there)

                      IMHO, it is better to think that we are HUMANITY ruled by GOOD WILL and HEALTHY THOUGHTS )

                      Best regards)…

                  • Beginning an argument with the concept “No one is free because everyone is brainwashed” destroys the legitimacy of anything you say afterwards. If you say no one can disagree with you because their opinions are the result of mind control, you have to prove that YOUR opinions are NOT the result of similar mind control.

                    Just tossing in a bit of simple logic.

              • Dear Zafarad,

                I hope you understand as well as I do, that 99% of americans/russians/arabs/people of China don`t have ANY domination plans. All of them want to raise their children, have good food and be shure in day after tommorow… and they DON`T WANT to loose all those things in one nuclear flash.
                If all the money which are spent on weapons worldwide could be spent on some peacefull things like science, medecine, education, envirement … our small planet might be a much-much better place.
                Unfortunatelly decisions usually are made over our heads. Policy is big business and politicians don`t ask people what to do (…


                • Peace is all we need, The World is in danger due to artificially induced war with terrorism, the war itself has produced more terrorists, if they put their hands on nukes – there will be no second warning.

                  And second thing – the world is ruled by oil, who has it -wins, others want to get to it, but soon enough the oil tap will dry, and we have (now!) to think about some new energy sources – cheap and recyclable. The hydrogen (water) engine could be put to mass production years ago, but oil lobby is still too powerful.

                  Peace, Brother.
                  Poland and Russia should think about how can they live together, despite history and how to cooperate in may ways for the better of their nations.

              • It is a great pleasure to have a dialogue with an intellegent opponent, even if my point of view is slietelly different. In fact I strongly disagree with some things you have mentioned:

                “I’havent read Lenin because it would be the highest shame 20-30 years ago” – I don`t think that looking for knowledge is a shame. Uneducated man will hardly have it`s own point of view/ but became more addicted to somebody`s opinion. If only you could read Lenin you would understand that whole soviet system had nothing in common with the idea of communism which are “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite.”

                Karl Marx economical theory is much more complex then “contradiction between baker and bread consumer”… In 19th century all contradictions were clearly seen – hunger riots were all over the Europe. But after Great October`s Revolution oligarhy of the western world understood that it`s better to give up something then to loose everything.

                You have mentioned about Molotov-Riebentroppe pact, which divided Poland between USSR and Germany. But as far as I know according to that pact USSR took western part of Bellorissia, western Ukraine and Holicia – which are non-polish territories with non-polish native nationalities living there.

                Perhaps you don`t know but in 1612 Rzecha Pospolita took moscow and put it`s own marionette on Russian throne. BTW that occupation was real blood bath for russians.

                Personally I do belive, it was unique chance for Poland to become as powerfull as Russia. But things went wrong and now we have what we have – Poland is a buffer between Russia and States.

                Now let`s look at the situation with “the shield”. It is clearly seen that in case of war (which I hope we will never have) first strike will be done on Poland. In that case nothing will help to survive – America is pretty far and actually don`t care about Europe. If we recall recent Kosovo riots, US policy will remind us of the policy of late Roman Empire – they hired one barbarian tribes to fight others.

                “It would be better to our region when there were lower number of people in Russia think in super-power way of thinking.” – we just can not live in other way – Russia is Great – and it is a fact (if it wasn`t so, there would not be such site –

                In Russia lives hundreds of nations (e.g. I`m polish) and we understand that our strenght is in union. When in 1991 it was a referendum about future of USSR 81% of population wanted to save the Union. But the politicians who made ultimate decision wanted to be the Tzars of each independed state… USSR felt victim of greedinesss of corrupted conspirators. But I`m sure – rebuilding of USSR it`s just a question of time.

                At the end I would like to add: nothing personal but modern policy of our ex-friends from eastern Europe seems a little… strange to me. They were glad to receive endless millions of economical help of all kind from USSR when it was strong, but they turned they back on us in the time of hardship… Such policy is kind of non-farseeing – things may change in the blink of an eye: according to BRIC theory Russia would one of the leaders of the future
                Now let`s look at Europe: english pound and euro may fall just as $US do, and money is the only economical resource in Europe; no oil, no gas, no minerals, population is getting old, global warming is killing agriculture, even science is going down… very soon western world will face real crisis. And it would be a real challange to so called “Liberal Values”.
                But still, there would be anti-missile shield which can be recycled at any time)

                Best regards)

          • Well, in military sense it was not bad – SU only had to develop adequate answer to keep the balance of power right. But same was extended to basic needs. Soviet Union was always catching up with the West. Famous story goes: when Tupolev got an order to copy American B-29 he said: “Why copy? We culd make a better one”, to which Stalin replied: “No need to make a better one. Just copy it!”. So it goes with the washing macines, cars, motorbikes, TV sets and everything else. Soviet engineers and designers only copied, never created. Any intellectual and economical potential was washed away by the early 80-s.

            • You obviosly missed the whole point of my comment…. here I’ll summarize..

              “Sometimes it is CHEAPER and EASIER to buy the items then try to reproduce them on your own.”

              Understand…. good then don’t come to me.

              • >>“Sometimes it is CHEAPER and EASIER to buy the items then try to reproduce them on your own.”

                A good logical point.

                BUT, if your nation has no trade agreements or copyright treaties with the nation who originates the technology in question, then COPYING the design is PLAINLY cheaper than buying it.

                Buying a design requires a transfer of money. Copying a design requires NO transfer of money. NO transfer of money is less expensive than A transfer of money.

                {Pure Logic off, informed opinion to follow}
                If, however, you are saying that Volga found it cheaper to purchase and import ACTUAL parts from the US, I’d like to see proof. The soviet system was plainly stronger in industrial manufacture. Shaping metal into auto parts would have been MUCH less expensive in the USSR. The US was still under rationing in the early 1950’s, the idea of US car companies using US metals to ship to Russia seems… illogical. I admit I may be wrong about this, but I think my opinion makes more sense than the other. I can be proven wrong, and I’d love to hear more on the other side.

  1. well, have you compared fiat and vaz?

    i think lada 110 was the first car the russians didn’t copy from anybody.. and look what happened. : )

    • Did you suggest that Italians copied Fiat125 from Lada and next Poles did buy (about 1970) from Italians a licence on Fiat125p production ?

    • dude,
      vua, BA3, lada or what kind of name you try to use for this is Russian car manufactured with fiat 124 license this is fiat 125 from manufacture in poland (it whas made in Poland until 29.06.1991 (with modifications)

  2. This is Ivan Tellalie 53rd class of the Soviet Union telling you that the capitalist pig americans ripped off our glorious Volga 21.

  3. I think that 1st Lada manufacturing rights were bought from Fiat, whereas Volgas and Pobedas were ripoffs from different american cars.

    Russians even bought a lot of american cars to familiarize themselves with the rotting capitalism inventions.

  4. AFAIK Volga 24 was a copy of 1967 Ford.
    First Moskviches were copies of Opel (BTW, Moskviches were extremely hated and were given a nickname – “Lenin’s sledges” in former Czechoslovakia), later ones looked very similar to Audi 60 from sixties.
    Lada is altogether different story and anyone interested can Google its history easily.
    I think the only relatively good car made in USSR was Lada Niva.

    • It seems to me, that at it Ford Falcon and at Volga the radiator lattice is similar only. Other all absolutely different. Compare:
      Ford JPG/800px-1962_Ford_Falcon_2-door_wagon. JPG


    • Moskviches were hated for many reasons, those I remember are:
      a) Moskvich was very thirsty.
      b) Its behavior on wet/frozen roads was catastrophic (this earned the car its nickname).
      c) The rear doors had bad habit of opening all by themselves and had to be tied together with rope frequently.
      d) The car stung like a chemical waste disposal yard in summer due to poor quality of plastic parts.
      e) Last, but not least, the car was made in USSR 😀

      The only Soviet product which made real success in Communist Czechoslovakia was VEF 206, widely available radio receiver very suitable for listening to “Radio Free Europe” and “Voice of America”.

      • As far as Joe Public was concerned, it was Lada 2101 in early seventies, i.e. Fiat 124. There was a long list of parts distributed on black market used to distinguish the parts made in Italy from those made in USSR.

        Joe Public who could not get Lada 2101 was driving Škoda 100 – 110 – 120 – 130, gritting his teeth at the thought that Soviets quenched the project between DDR and Czechoslovakia to build a new SW for the countries of Central Europe.

        As far as Joe-better-than-Public was concerned, i.e. one who had access to Western currency, the good car was that sold in Tuzex (I believe these shops were called Beryozka in USSR). It was a shop established to sell Western goods for Western money to the people of the Eastern Block for outrageous prices.
        Say, Simca 1308.

        The top brass and the top black market were, of course, driving Mercedes W 115 – 123.

        • This is, indeed, funny.
          I remember that people were giving rid of Moskviches for silly money long before the fall of the Curtain, but they were keeping much older Lada 2101.
          These Ladas were frequently offered for sale for outrageously high prices long after the market was saturated with foreign imports and nobody was buying these shadows of the dark past.
          It may be that the prices were kept high by Ukrainian traveling workers who were buying them to take home.

  5. Well, the Soviets may have “borrowed” some U.S. automotive blueprints, but the U.S. had its revenge in the early 1980’s, when we sent Clint Eastwood in to steal the super-secret MiG-31 Firefox, complete with thought-controlled rearward-firing missiles! (remember: you must THINK IN RUSSIAN!)

  6. Hell,you Russkies have been still western technology since the revolution. The Chinks in China have been too.You people havn’t had a original invention since some one concocted Vodka the first time. Now you people are so besotted all the time from drinking so much of it you all can’t think straight.Only occupation you people are good at is thief.It seems to be in your genetic make up.

  7. Surprise! Soviet engineers copied Western technology. Film at eleven. Same with computers, cameras, radios, atomic bombs and all the other hot stuff from the free world.

    • So why did the U.S copy soviet space technology? I thought the U.S. was so great at everything that they are first and best at all things under the sun, and if somewhere there is something better, well then it must have been copied from the U.S.

      I got a different headline for you….

      Surprise! … all of your great engineers and inventors are foriegn.

      How many engineers do american schools produce compared to countries like Russia, China, India? Not many.

      Americans will recruit the best minds from across the world and then call their work “an truly american invention”

      You dont invent these things, Bert, so stop acting like you are better than everyone else because you live in the so called “free world”

      • How bout

        First satellite in space
        First man in space
        First animal in space
        First woman in space
        First space station
        First tourist in space
        Biggest launcher of satellites
        And soon to be…. taxi for american astronauts.

        And why do you think russians abandoned the buran… because they saw how much of a risk it is to fly something like that into space… how many shuttle accidents is there going to be before americans realize it too.. now they are building a space vehicle that mimicks the russian one… because it is reliable and safe. That my friend…is superior russian engineering.

  8. What’s wrong with stealing or buying a technology? If it’s already been invented, why re-invent it? For instance, the much-lauded stealth technology, used to make American stealth aircraft and ships, is based on the work of Pyotr Ufimtsev, who was greatly sought after by American companies after the Iron Curtain had fallen, and worked for Northrop Grumman Corporation in California, and was a visiting professor at UCLA for many years.

    There are smart people everywhere, if there’s an education system to nurture and develop such individuals. It’s just a matter of where the money is invested. In Soviet Union, all the brains were recruited by Defene dept., hence a respectable advancement in military technologies. However, auto industry, along with many other civilian industries were neglected, hence no progress to speak of.

    And personally, I’d take a Japanese vehicle over an American one any given day. In my opinion, Japanese have surpassed even Germans in quality of autos, both in performance and luxury options. IMHO, anyways.


      • Fake, but I really wonder what possible motive or objective could the person making this comment possibly have in his little silly mind?

    • I can agree with this.
      Japanese cars are surely better than American ones.
      Funny thing is that when I was to USA last time, majority of the cars I saw was made i Korea 😀
      On the other hand, European cars are the coolest on the Earth 😎

    • As was already pointed out to you, Mr. Ufimtsev started theorizing on the reflection of the electromagnetic waves in ’60s, and his work was translated in English in the ’70s, when the CIA had duely taken note of it. Obviously, American scientists expanded his ideas, but still sought to recruit the mastermind himself, because he fathered the technology, hence could potentially expand a lot more on it than others. Please do your homework before you open your mouth. Thanks.

      • I don’t know if you watched the video Zaluppa provided a link to (it’s in Russian, though, do you speak Russian?) Anyways, he did not work directly on the project, but without his work there WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN an F-117 project to begin with. :roll eyes:

        Incidentally, having thought of this earth-shattering concept, Mr. Ufimtsev also came up with a way to overcome it. A true genius that he is.

  9. For style, comfort, and safety while traveling with a high-explosive strapped to driver, nothing is better than car made in Iran.

  10. Volga’s look cool – they beat any modern BMW design-wise, IMO. But this is just the looks – the car is very heavy, is using an outrageous amount of fuel and breaks down all the time. I would like to have a vintage Volga with the BMW engine inside [like what was posted on this site last year]. That would be a real head turner !

  11. Volga is cool,Stealth fighter who Serbs shut down at 1999 is now in Russia,Americans are sneaking arround wreck of Kursk atomic submarine.Newer ending story.Offtopic.

  12. GAZ M20 Pobeda
    Zil – 41047
    AZLK 412
    VAZ 2109
    And others…

    These cars are not copies

    GAZ-21 – Also not a copy. Separate parts it is similar to foreign cars of this time, but this influence of a fashion…
    Many European, American and Asian cars also are similar against each other

  13. 1ST FIRST 1ST. (well comment from me anyway).

    I was born confused. I am confused. I will die confused. So let me tell you some truths.

    Triumph stole the design of the ‘Stag’ for their badges from the Volga bonnet ornament. They also stole their concept of reliability from the Russian Lada as well, but that is another story.

    Cars? I drive Nipponese, at least I know it will start.

    Russian occupations? They are good at one or two but the Yanqs have the best occupations. Let’s see….Cuba, Iraq, Texas, Puerto Rico…no second rate shyte there.

    Who is more scarisome, Putin or Bush? Ummmm….see above. However Putin I reckon is a secret pillow biter.

    Where would I rather live? I’ve been to both messes and OOSA has much nicer state and national parks.

    I expect to be insulted. Do your best.

    (ps: Americans please get instructions in proper English)

  14. Soviet Russia’s auto industry was kick-started by Henry Ford. Lenin invited him to open factories and send American engineers to oversee the operations. The first GAZ cars were simply licensed-build Model A’s.

  15. All,

    i want to remind you that Russia is not like in the past- it is a capitalism like other countries. it is thirst of money not idologies any longer!

  16. Just an amazing collection of photos for the Volga 21. I remember seeing one in a show in Europe about 15 years ago, and these photos remind me of that trip and all the classic cars that were on show.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Syd from the chicken house.

  17. Pingback: Ford ja Volga ( Volga & Ford) - Elämä jatkuu
  18. So why did the U.S copy soviet space technology? I thought the U.S. was so great at everything that they are first and best at all things under the sun, and if somewhere there is something better, well then it must have been copied from the U.S.

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  21. Volga GAZ-21 was a great car, despite it’s design was stolen from Ford.
    My father used to have Volga for 25 years, I know what I say.


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